09.23.13

ODDBALL STEAMROLLS MANDALAY

Oddball
They were impressed by our rich history of corruption and prostitution. (Photo by Bryan Haraway)

Dave Chappelle still isn’t happy about Hartford, Conn. The stand-up did the first five minutes of his set about the August 29 incident, before moving on with a loose, casual set in front of a near-sellout crowd September 21 at Mandalay Bay Events Center to close the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Festival.

Chappelle is clearly as in command of his craft as ever, but his short, 35-minute Saturday night set was shaggy, compared to the wild ambition of opener Hannibal Buress, who ditched his laconic delivery to deliver a high-energy 15 that toyed with the form from music cuts to a ballerina-backed gibberish rap closer. Jim Jeffries was at the peak of his trademark nastiness in the show’s other high point.

The Flight of the Conchords were on point, with a handful of new songs—and a well-timed callback to Buress’ tune during “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros.” Still, the crowd was primed for Chappelle first and foremost–and that’s respect he’s earned from his past. But the future was the more compelling part of the show.

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